Five Uses For the Word “No.”

I remember, with some fondness, the days when I looked down at a happily gurgling Tori and thought, “man, I wish you could talk.” I imagined that her chubby little face was the gateway to a world of sunshine and rainbows, with nary a negative thought in sight.

Little did I know that when she began mastering language, “no” would quickly become her favorite word.

These days, there are no limits to the ways she can use the word no. Here are five…just off the top of my head.

As a question. Often, she’ll reach for something forbidden. Something like an electrical outlet or a cat’s tail. Then, she’ll look at me with a mischievous grin and say, “no?” She, of course, already knows the answer, but proceeds anyway (even after I affirm that the object is, indeed, off limits).

As a sorting tool. She’s also become a master at pointing to things that she wants. But since she lacks the vocabulary to tell me what she’s pointing at (and our house is ridiculously cluttered) it often becomes a game. I’ll hold something up and say “this?” To which she replies, “no.” The process continues until she gets what she wants.

As assent. Contrary little being that she is, she says no when she means yes. Ask her if she wants pudding, and she’ll shake her head no. Ask her if she wants to play in her pool and she’ll say no. Ask her if she wants her diaper changed? She’ll say no – but for once she’ll mean it.

As a demand. Pick her up when she doesn’t want to, and no means “put me down.” Put her down when she wants to be carried and no means “pick me up.” It’s an all purpose tool, really.

As a complaint. Throughout the aforementioned diaper changes,  she yells “nononononono!” When I’m wiping her face? “NO!” Tooth brushing gets the same reaction, as  does pajama putting-on-ing.

Who knew no was such a versatile word? I think I’ll start using it the same way.

“Amber, do you have time for this meeting?” NO (can’t you see I’m in the middle of a game of Bejeweled?)!

“Amber, did you see your baby eat that cheerio off the floor?”  No? (of course I did, you moron).

“Amber, did you know it’s still a week until payday?” NoNoNoNo (I object) !

Think it will work?

18 Comments on Five Uses For the Word “No.”

  1. Jen
    July 20, 2010 at 10:13 pm (6 years ago)

    Brilliant, just brilliant I say.

    Reply
    • Amber
      July 21, 2010 at 8:46 am (6 years ago)

      Tori says “nope.” But then, that’s what she says to everything.

      Reply
  2. Allison @ Alli n Son
    July 20, 2010 at 10:51 pm (6 years ago)

    Oh yes, I think that will total work. I may just have to try it myself.

    Reply
    • Amber
      July 21, 2010 at 8:46 am (6 years ago)

      What do you think they’d do if all we said was no, back at them?

      Reply
  3. Elona
    July 20, 2010 at 11:24 pm (6 years ago)

    I totally think we should all do this at work!

    Reply
    • Amber
      July 21, 2010 at 8:45 am (6 years ago)

      Yep. Disgruntled office/doctor’s office people of the world, unite under the banner of NO!

      Reply
  4. C @ Kid Things
    July 21, 2010 at 12:21 am (6 years ago)

    Do I think it will work? No! (See what I did there?) In all seriousness, I’m at that age where all my daughter says is No. It’s not really cute anymore.

    Reply
    • Amber
      July 21, 2010 at 8:45 am (6 years ago)

      Ha! Well, not to worry, I’m sure she’ll be on to something new and equally obnoxious soon.

      Reply
  5. Melissa (Confessions of a Dr.Mom)
    July 21, 2010 at 12:37 am (6 years ago)

    These are great! Very clever and true :) The great thing is…you know exactly how she’s using it just by the tone of her voice..she’s a smart one!

    Reply
    • Amber
      July 21, 2010 at 8:44 am (6 years ago)

      Too smart for her own good, really…

      Reply
  6. Coma Girl
    July 21, 2010 at 8:06 am (6 years ago)

    How funny!

    And just wait until she’s a teenager and no is still her favorite word. Except it is said in a whine or with a “whatever” attitude.

    Reply
    • Amber
      July 21, 2010 at 8:44 am (6 years ago)

      Oh, those will be good times, I’m sure. Why is it that we don’t lock teenagers up in boarding schools for five years?

      Reply
  7. Tiffany@LattesAndLife
    July 21, 2010 at 8:26 am (6 years ago)

    My son has hit the NO stage a little late. We’re dealing with it now at three-and-a-half, along with some serious wannabe independent attitude. It’s pretty funny, and I have to turn my head away so he doesn’t see me laughing!!

    Reply
    • Amber
      July 21, 2010 at 8:44 am (6 years ago)

      Yeah, I’m still at the stage where it’s cute. Not sure how long it’s going to last, though. Hopefully, she won’t still be doing it at 3, but I wouldn’t put it past her.

      Reply
  8. one cluttered brain
    July 21, 2010 at 9:48 am (6 years ago)

    Well, she has to get some word down it mine as well be NO.
    I think “No!” is THE universal word for kids anyway. They learn to say that in Kid school or something.
    *sigh*

    Reply
  9. SaucyB
    July 21, 2010 at 12:36 pm (6 years ago)

    I love it. Especially the recommended uses for us adults. If only…

    Reply
  10. Vanderbilt Wife
    July 22, 2010 at 10:14 pm (6 years ago)

    HA–my daughter is there, too. She is 20 months and I am pretty sure she doesn’t know the word “yes.”

    “Libbie, are you going to finish your dinner?” “NO!” “Are you done?” “NO!” “Do you want to get down?” “NO!” (as she struggles wildly to escape the booster seat)

    Toddlers…

    Reply
    • Amber
      July 24, 2010 at 9:04 pm (6 years ago)

      I actually heard mine say yeah, this evening. I was floored.

      Reply

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